Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jury acquits DNC protesters, tells them to be "more lawful" in future

Bizarre. The News:
Three protesters arrested for blocking the street during the Democratic National Convention were acquitted today by a Denver jury who told the trio they hoped they had learned their lesson.

Foreperson Julia Bucher told the three, "our verdict does not absolve you of the obligation to behave in a more lawful and responsible manner in the future."
Can you say "nullification"?
Michael Loeffler, 23, of Maryland, Justin Whitaker, 20, and Jeffrey Labow, 21, both of West Virginia, were acquitted Wednesday on a municipal charge of blocking a passageway at 15th Street and Court Place on Aug. 25.
The rest of the story describes the contending versions of what happened at 15th and Court Place on the first night of the DNC, when almost every one of the 150-odd protesters who was arrested during convention week was actually arrested. Fave quote:
Humphreys [a "legal observer" at the protests] said he wore a bandanna around his neck as a preventive measure in case he were gassed.

"When you're surrounded by 200 police wearing riot gear and gas masks you get very concerned and try to protect yourself," he said.
Wonder if the jury believed that one? In any case, it wouldn't bother me if all the protesters were acquitted or the city just dropped the remaining cases. The important thing is that during the convention, they didn't get their way.

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